I am a recent graduate. Next week I have interviews with company A and company B. While preparing for these interviews and reviewing my resume, I realized that I wrote some things in my resume that may be misleading. I know this could disqualify me from the competitions, which really sucks because they are kind of like dream companies for me.
In my co-op work experience, I mentioned that I "managed the xyz project". That is perhaps wrong. The correct way to express that would be something like the "I was the lead analyst in the xyz research study". I was relying too much on the resume guidelines that say "start bullets with verbs like managed, led, directed, supervised, etc."
My mistake was using the words "manage" and "project" based on their general definitions, and then using them incorrectly together. Here is what I meant to say:
Project: a planned piece of work that has a specific purpose (such as to find information or to make something new) and that usually requires a lot of time
Manage: to handle or direct with a degree of skill
Here is what I wrote in my resume:
Economic Analyst (Co-op), Ministry of Finance, Jan 2018 – Apr 2018
a) Managed the Employment Insurance project and developed a comprehensive project report analyzing policy trends and key differences between provinces and territories.
b) Collected, organized, and analyzed data and information from diverse sources.
c) Prepared briefing materials and presented findings to the branch and the executive director.
d) Collaborated with the team to develop budget analysis reports. I analyzed changes in the revenue and expenditure forecasts of provincial budgets and fiscal plans. These reports were sent to the deputy minister within hours of the release of the budgets.
Policy Research Assistant (Co-op), Ministry of Energy, May 2017 – Dec 2017
a) Managed the Minerals Tax project and produced a report analyzing mineral tax policies across Canada.
b) Collected and organized data from the mineral resources acts and regulations of all provinces and territories.
c) Analyzed the data and provided senior management with advice and recommendations on policy reforms.
d) Delivered engaging presentations to senior staff members and the assistant deputy minister.
e) Produced the mining sector newsletter every month for 8 months.
f) Conducted research on different projects and worked collaboratively with the team to develop specific sections of project reports and discussion papers.
g) Managed and updated several databases regularly.
Saying "managed the xyz project" seems wrong since these aren't really projects. More like research work or research studies. Based on the dictionary definition of "project", academic publications, for example, are projects. But that isn't Project Management. Building a bridge, a pollution abatement plant, designing technology to increase productivity or profits are examples of projects. Or even conducting socio-economic impact assessments of such undertakings can be called projects. I wasn't responsible for leading a team or handing funding, and neither did I do any of those studies for any clients.
In Company A, I will be working on impact assessments and policy reviews for clients. Collecting information, analyzing data, doing econometric modelling, and giving feedback to clients through reports. I will be an analyst giving advice and recommendations to clients who will be paying my company for the services. I will be working in a team. So this job actually entails working on real projects. Now I have already done the first stage of interviews in this company and I have a second one next week.
I have my first interview with Company B next week. A number of senior economists have seen my resume. In this job, I won't be working on projects, but I will be working on analyzing data and on research studies for the organization.
I have talked with my supervisors at both ministries and informed them of the mistake. So they know how to respond if a reference check is done. I am wondering if I should mention this to Company A and Company B before the interviews next week. If I should, then what is the best way to do this? What should I say? I didn't intend to lie or make things up. Everything else in the resume is accurate.